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Interview with The Vad Flaaten Brothers - Part 1

Posted by TheInterviewer - August 28th, 2012


[ Index Page | Special Theme | Official Thread | Twitter | Google+ ]

Interview No. 100
Interview By:
The-Great-One

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[ Part 1 ] + [ Part 2 ]
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Today is a special day. The 100th Interview. Come a long way since 2009. It doesn't seem like a long time either. A lot of these interviews I feel as if it were yesterday when I wrote them. We last celebrated our 50th Interview with Monocrom and since then we have grown. There have been others who have joined in with The Interviewer such as SCTE3 and J-Rex. Asandir became inspired to do his own interviewing overtime.

For the 60th Interview I was privileged enough to interview eddsworld a.k.a. Edd Gould. He passed away recently and he is missed by many here on Newgrounds. Around the same time, the man who pretty much introduced me to Newgrounds, Randy-Solem also passed away. So it has been some sad times. The Interviewer keeps on going though, with more stories to tell and more underrated individuals to find.

Such as the 70th Interview where I interviewed Jimtopia who not only has a series here on Newgrounds featuring his characters, but he is probably one, very few of you have heard of. The 80th Interview brought us a dark visionary MOC-Productions with his Madness Day contribution as well as his take on what a sequel to The Dark Knight would have been like. The 90th Interview would feature a group of Newgrounds musicians who make commercial music for games, movies, and television. They were The Symphony of Specters.

I also got to go a bit deeper when I spoke with AlmightyHans and Robert Hays. The other members of The Interviewer sat down with big Newgrounds names such as JeremyLokken and Afro-Ninja. This is simply just scratching the surface of what has been done since Interview No. 50.

Today though we come to No. 100 and today's guests are certainly not unknown here on Newgrounds. Their works include Check This Out!, The Murderer, Snowmen, and Spend It Wisely. They are two brothers who have been drawing and animating practically their entire lives. They are TommyVF and MarcyVF, Tommy Vad Flaaten and Markus Vad Flaaten, The Vad Flaaten Brothers.

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ANSWERS WILL BE POSTED BENEATH THE _A:_ DUE TO TWO PEOPLE BEING INTERVIEWED PERSON ANSWERING WILL BE NOTED AS SO.
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Q: How did you find Newgrounds and why did you join?
A:

TommyVF: Since my brother and I have been drawing all our lives, and got introduced to Flash by our father when we were seven or eight, we got in touch with Mr. Internet pretty quickly. At first we just played and watched Flash games and movies (or random, interactive stuff) on freeonlinegames.com, as well as other pages. That was the site that pointed us at Newgrounds, where we found the authors of the Flash-products became much more visible. And Newgrounds really seemed like a cool place for newcomers, with lots of different people (or different kinds of nerds) in a vibrant community, as well as an exciting site with plenty of colorful, weird and fun elements (like the Flash portal, forums, co-authoring (awesome!), diverse front page, author news, voting, reviews, awards, categories <3). So we embraced it! Submitted crappy crap, got our first goofy, long review, voted and got to know more people. We also had some profile on Deviantart.com, and later campnorth.tv (come back, pl0x), and other sites at different times. But we really appreciated Newgrounds as 13-year-olds because it was new and huge and exciting and gave us our first real self-promoting opportunities. Like choosing the double-ended-CAPS, fashionable "TommY" instead of "Tommy" in TommyVF, and getting to know that "Marcy" is a girls name. It was our first impression/encounter of/with many things.

MarcyVF: But as I'd been on the web for a while, and been watching and playing stuff on Newgrounds, one day I just kind of realized that I could submit MY stuff to this very site. That made me insanely excited. Our dad had a policy that we had to ask him for permission to get an account on a web site, I think. Or at least that was my notion. For some reason we followed the age restriction of 13 on the website, and when I was 13 I got an account. And it was also my belief that all "C" characters in were pronounced "K" in English, so when I chose my really hip and cool fictional nickname Marky, I simply located any K and made it a C because that's what I knew about English. Yep. I wonder if some people actually thought I was a girl when reading my username. Giggle giggle. Anyways, my first submission got blammed. Didn't really notice that, as my brain was at the time severely underdeveloped. But the whole review thing and people who were older than me telling me "please make more!!!!!" and stuff like that, they somehow motivated me more than anybody else. I kind of felt a pressure, which was weird. So I quit Newgrounds. Just kidding. But the question was WHY did I join! And that was because I wanted fame. Wow.

Also, Marcy is not my name. My name is Markus.
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Q: You two are brothers, twin brothers to be in fact. Which on of you is older and what can you tell us about growing up as twins?
A:

TommyVF: It started when the sperm met the egg and fused into a zygote. Then, instead of dividing and growing into a person, that cell divided itself into two separate zygotes. Those two zygotes then started to divide and grow, until two individuals were created. That means me and my brother are identical twins with the same DNA, legal human clones! Since the zygote simply split, and we were created at the same time, neither is older. But I, Tommy, was born four minutes before Markus, after having his ass on my head for nine months. Such a lovely experience.

Growing up as twins was, has been, and is, really awesome and motivating, thought we haven't experienced anything else. We've lived together and shared interests and thoughts throughout our childhood. And it has probably/hopefully fueled our creativity, because we've often had many of the same ideas. It's also pretty cool (I think) to have an automatic friend. Though not all twins are friends. We also fight a lot and kill each other. Evry day I'm killin'-in'.

We're also gay.

MarcyVF: Everything Tommy said is wrong. Even though the zygote split at the same time and all that, my part of the zygote still separated from his part a little earlier. Sorry, that's just the facts.

Growing up as twins is, was, has always been, and will always be, a horrible experience. As the responsible older brother, he's the parasite, the bad copy who merely sucks the goo of life out of me. Pretty painful. No really, Tommy is a very frustrating little human, but at least, as I'm the original copy, he's not as frustrating as me. No really, he is a very frustrating little human, but we have in some or many ways a very unique relationship. The one I feel the most at home with, still the one I love being away from the most. That sounds weird? GOOD!
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Q: When did you two get into art and animation?
A:

TommyVF: Since we were babies, we've been drawing characters, places and comics. We made comic books and invented worlds and stories as kids, and got introduced to FLASH when we were around 7 or 8. Our dad is a graphic designer and used it to create tiny web ads for houses, and he thought we might like it. But our dad showed us some basics of Flash, then we learned more and more ourselves. We've never really took any good tutorials for animation or drawing in the program, so I don't know if we suck at Flash. We got some tips from other animators, though. Also, I use Flash CS3, which is kind of an old version! Funnech!

We didn't use other programs until we met Simon, who made us utilize Photoshop, After Effects and Cinema 4D. Utilize is a funny word.

MarcyVF: Um, yeah, we draw. We drew so much our mom almost shot us down with a crossbow because there were drawings everywhere. I remember dad told me once, ONCE, and he even tells me he can't remember, but still I think I recall it (not very clearly though), that when I was crying or sulking/moping/(weird translation of the Norwegian verb furte') one time because of a drawing or something I can't fully remember, he told me that I was best at drawing or that a drawing I had just drawn was better than Tommy's. But you know what, I probably heard wrong cause he would never say that and I realize now that it all sounds ridiculously fabricated. Anyways, we just always drew, at school, at home, with and without each other and with friends, and started doing it digitally when we got hold of Flash, which our dad showed us. We basically mimicked everything around us. What I mean by that is when I saw cartoons and films on TV, we would watch them again and again and again and remember how they were. Some Looney Toons VHSs we watched a ton of times and even stopped in the midst of, then slowly forwarded/backwarded (or whatever it's called when you wind the VHS thing) it, and saw that the characters were warped and stuff when moving fast. FUN! So, whenever we started drawing or animating, it was our own memory that supported us with ideas as we drew computer game comics a lot. This changed a little with age, though, we got a weird and sudden interest in violence for example. Just because.
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Q: Judging by your early works, you both seem to like skateboarding. What can you tell us about skateboarding and why you would make many different animations about it?
A:

TommyVF: WE PLAYED TONY HAWKS PRO SKATER 4! And 2, before that. But THPS4 came free with our eMacs, and the sound effects, animation and gameplay had a great influence. As well as all the other games, like Driver, Jazz Jackrabbit 2, Monkey Shines (old!), Boom (old!), Total Annihilation, and of course the dangerously lousy Runescape. Just kidding. We didn't play Runescape when we were that little, and it was more a social thing. We play it now, though. Brilliant game. Anyways, the concept of skateboarding had been fascinating to us, because of all the tricks and all the visual stuff surrounding it all. Kind of... We've also had a skateboarding period, where we learned to jump/ollie. I only performed a pop shove it once, by accident. On a cat. We use our longboards from time to time, though. But not really.

MarcyVF: Yeah, computer games influenced us greatly. We stole the sounds and put stick men on skateboards. Motion tweening stick men rolling on skateboard was super easy to animate and just the most brilliant and genius concept. Those old THPS4 sound effects are still the best I have, and I use them. We did skate a little in our spare time, as we suddenly got a big interest in it. Like all our weird little new hobbies, our parents provided us with motivation and did what they could. Tommy says a lot of weird stuff in his answer to this one. Wow.
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Q: There would be a club here entitled -Skate Flash Club-. It would be the first time you two would work together in the movie Skate Flash Collab 2. What was the experience like working with a group of others as well as your brother?
A:

TommyVF: The Skate Flash Club was overall a really fun experience, because we talked everyday, joking and showing each other skateboard and animation stuff. It was our first time talking in a forum, so we enjoyed it. I think we learned a lot, too, and we participated in two collaborations, which I think made us improve as animators.

Another forum that we joined after this, was the forum Ultimate Pwnage, created by Tyler "Nogfish" Naugle, an animator which we really love. He has superb skills and an awesome cartoonish style. We also collaborated on that forum, joking, talking and making quick birthday collabs for every little user. We got to know a lot of people from around the globe, and probably improved our English abilities, too.

MarcyVF: Oh yeah, wow. The Skate Flash Club was completely awesome. Our first web community thing, where we talked to people in a forum for real. Was a little weird as we weren't that good in English amongst other things. I remember I wanted a forum signature, but kept uploading the same picture in every forum post because that's what I thought other people did to get the signature image. What a moron people must've thought I was. And this wasn't our first time animating together, just our first collaboration online. Anyways, just to clarify: I did a lot of idiot things on the internet when I was young. Looking back now, I honestly think there should be an age restriction of 16 for expressing yourself on the web. (Joke.) Lol. Example: when Luis didn't like the new style of Johny Magic, I got a tantrum. Read Luis's comment here And my hatred here I can't believe it's just 4 years ago. I still say incredibly stupid things, but at least not so everyone can see. Sorry Luis.
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Q: What can you tell us about TWINTRASH?
A:

TommyVF: We can tell you that many people think we call ourselves that! But we don't. TwinTrash is a series we made for animation we did together, plus other random stuff. It was originally meant for smaller, weirder projects, and we tried out some new ideas and brought some "guest authors" with us on the way. We had always wanted to make a series together. RWD (Radical Wrong Doers) was also something we were digging at the time, so the whole thing was really inspired by that. Submitting "quality spam", kind of. We also numbered the submissions 001, 002 and so on, to make it look mass produced and cool. Which is kind of silly, but it was fun to have a series going on and try to create colorful and diverse animations.

The most popular TwinTrash-submittions were Runner I and Runner II, which in my opinion shouldn't have been a part of TwinTrash at all, because the project was a lot more special and planned than the others. The runner "technique" was also heavily inspired (if not taken) from an animator/illustrator called MRAW on Newgrounds, Jack Dubben, which we knew from the Skate Flash Club forum. Just check out his "SillyStopSkateMation" movies! Long time ago, though.

MarcyVF: I can tell you what Tommy said, and that our associates over at Aschehoug publishing calls us Twintrash. Though it was never our trademark or our clan name. It has nothing to do with Tommy's full given name being Tommy Vad Twintrash Flaaten.
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Q: Check This Out! is a hilarious three part stunt movie. You two would work on this with SimonG. What can you tell us about Simon and working on him on this movie?
A:

TommyVF: Simon is our bropal for life. We had never met other Norwegians that shared our visual interests, so we showed him Apple and Flash while he showed us Photoshop and design. So we became friends and started to make Flash together, like "Dreams", "Daydreams", "Comeback Campnorth" and "Check This Out!". We were mostly just fooling around and having fun, and it was and is super awesome to work with him. We used some automated speech website for the voices, so it turned out really silly. Simon is so cool. And lol, why are you calling it a stunt movie? You're actually making it sound like a good product. When it was just a childish and random animation. Thanks!

MarcyVF: We fell in love with Simon in the summer of 2008, we spent a lot of time together. One of us usually animated, while the two others played Skate or something. It was real fun, and I remember Simon being really self-conscious about his animation. When we came to his part of Check This Out, he always were like "awh, yeah and then it's my crappy part" and he gave us that deeply-in-love-with-you face, if you know what I mean. Okay, that final part was not entirely true. But for example, he made me animate a silhouette falling down some stairs, and my shot at it really sucked. We probably didn't tell him how we secretly admired his cinematic timing and cutting, and his Disney-ish drawing style.
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Q: One of my favorites by you two has to be The Murderer. You stated that the inspiration came from Newgrounds member tinytim for showing you the song. The story you told with it though is quite amazing. When it came to working on this how did you draw the visuals that you saw from this song?
A:

TommyVF: Thanks so much for still liking our older work. I think Markus got the song from tinytim, and we loved it. We might have watched the music video, too, but Markus wanted to make something else. I don't know who came up with the idea, but Markus did most of the work. So he probably got the idea, too. Yes, I had to mimic his character, but it was a fun little thing. We still listen to the song.

MarcyVF: First, Thanks for the love! Though I first couldn't take seriously that you thought The Murderer was one of your favorites, I now see that it's kind of good story-wise, still super simple, but one of our more short story-ish animations. About drawing out from a song and the sounds in it, that's basically something we've always loved doing. Music is one art form we love even more than animation, and using songs in our animations can really fuel the whole process increeeeedibly! Apart from my girlfriend, music is what inspires me most. I love it when I can make an animation respond to every movement in the music or sound design. That's something called fun.
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Q: The Bible in 05.30, shows pretty much the Holy Bible in five minutes and thirty seconds with not only comedic flair, but some beautiful artistic moments in it as well. What inspired you to tell this story and do it within this short period of time?
A:

TommyVF: I don't know how common the practice of Christian confirmation is in other countries, but, as you can read here, confimation in Norway is a very social and nice event. My brother and I were asked to create some kind of animation for the "ceremony", which normally contained entertainment and other stuff. So we decided to make the story of the Bible into a short cartoon, and it was shown in the church during the confirmation. Me and my brother are Christians, by the way. Like, crazy ones. With swords.

Like Justin Bieber.

MarcyVF: Like Tommy says, we made this on our Christian confirmation show thing in our local church. I got the idea, yeah, and like Tommy mentioned, Justin Bieber's beliefs are the only thing about him I like. Just to clarify, kay? Giggle.

Maybe I'm joking to much here. And maybe it's not funny in any way, so sorry. But my Christian beliefs are something I've wanted to portray or convey somehow through animation for a long time. It's kind of hard, as I think many Christian-themed movies and animations are so insanely crappy or cheesy that it embarrasses me. Still, I have a couple of ideas up my sleeve which I aim to make happen sometime, as the opportunity to at least put a smile on someone's face because of something I've made that has to do with God, is an opportunity I'm thankful of, and really want to use.

And in case someone's curious about our Christianity: Yes, we pray. No, we're not creationists. Yes, we try to read the Bible. No, we don't over-interpret verses. Yes, we attend(ed) this pentecostal church (before London): http://www.pinsekirkenbetel.no Who's in the house? JC. Yo tell me who's in the house? JC.
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Q: What can you tell me about The One Layer Collab thread and the movie The One Layer Collab?
A:

TommyVF: Markus made the collab and the thread.

MarcyVF: What a weird project and a weird time. Funny to read how I talk like a horrible teacher in the author comments. And you can see in the thread that I'm becoming arrogant about Skater V2 already. Oh boy! Everyone who participated here were either better than me in English or older than me. It was a horrible amount of work. And I remember one funny story!

Funny story time: When I was compiling the collab, looking through parts and putting them all together, I looked at Timmy The Wing's second appearance in the collab while my mom was in the room. In the part, a man takes off his hat while we only see his shadow. And the shadow of his head without the hat looks like a penis, then we see it's a weird little camel on his head, not a penis. I was not aware of this, as I was really stupid at the time, and just thought it was a random animation of a guy with a camel under his hat. My mom, however, saw this short and then silently said behind me "It... looked... like a penis." I was really surprised and answered "No no no, it's just supposed to look like the shadow of his weird camel head".
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Comments (2)

NO MENTION OF RYANSON EH

SADDENING

Cool 'view with sum cool dudes